Media: acrylic, oil, synthetic gems, gold foil on canvas
One of the first characters from my evolving pantheon of gods. The inspiration for Jeff came from the biblical story of the exodus and the golden calf. The scene from the Charleton Heston movie The Ten Commandments has always been bouncing around in my head. I have always been fascinated by the idea that prophets always appear during times of strife and chaos to show people the error in their ways and to lead them to a more evolved and harmonious state. These visionaries, who speak directly to the Godhead, go into the wilderness to commune with the father and return with the laws that will set things straight. But while the prophet is away, the people all slide back into debauchery and idol worship. To that end, Jeff was initially called “Moloch,” just like the Canaanite deity that Yahweh replaced. But that name sounded too pompous and lacked the humor I like to pepper my work with. My wife said all that macho mass looked like a bro, named Jeff. I agreed. Surrounding him, are the hieroglyphic depictions of the world’s creation told from within my cosmology.
Media: Digital (vector) art
This digital piece illustrates a bit from one of my favorite comedians, Doug Stanhope. If I could describe how I wanted my art to be perceived, it would be like the comedy of my favorite curmudgeon. In the bit, he discusses how we all degrade ourselves for the luster of something out of our reach. We allow ourselves to be exploited for objects and status. We reach for things that should be left alone regardless of the actual cost.
Media: Digital collage printed on masonite.
I mentioned that I am not overtly political. Still, upon reviewing these three pieces and imagining the descriptions, I realize that I do have a message I want to convey. I have worked within the commercial art world for over two decades, and yet I loathe the consumerism of modern life. The irony of that state of being is not lost to me. I have made my career by visually enticing people to buy more, to be someone else, and to disregard the moment. Like Oppenheimer, quoting the Bhagavadgita, I have become the destroyer of worlds. Now I want to put the genie back in the bottle and expose how coercive capitalism can be. Pain is a montage of 1950s-era comic book advertising, selling novelty gifts and gags to kids. The headline comes from another vintage newspaper ad selling analgesics. By contrasting pain and pleasure, I highlight the weird headspace marketing puts the viewer into. You will feel better when you “…” until then, you are an ugly outcast who will not get invited to the ball.